President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday wrote to the Senate informing it of his decision to send the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to present the 2014 Budget to the joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday (today) following the resolutions of both chambers to adopt a crude oil price benchmark of $77.5.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala will perform the task on behalf of President Jonathan, who is unavailable for undisclosed reasons.
The presentation of the 2014 budget had been postponed twice due to the failure of the Senate and the House of Representatives to agree on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Policy.
Information Nigeria reports that this would be the first time a sitting president since 1999, who is hale and hearty, would not be performing the traditional task of presenting the budget to the National Assembly.
The exception was late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who while indisposed and in a foreign hospital, assigned the task to his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Mohammed Abba-Aji to quietly submit the 2010 budget to the leaders of the National Assembly.